A new scheme, called the Global Acceleration Program, has been launched to help innovative start-ups enter export markets in North America or China.
In conjunction with the Victorian Government, the program will be delivered by Australia-based Pyksis and the US-based ANZA Technology Network, both of which assist companies in global commercialisation.
GAP is a pilot program, the first phase of which will be focused on the US market. Mark Gustowski of Pyksis Victoria says GAP has been structured to provide companies with the knowledge and first-hand expertise on how to enter an international market.
This is achieved by travelling to the country in question, such as the US, where companies receive in-depth mentoring from experts in their industry.
Gustowski says the program isn’t aimed at generating a sale or the creation of a licensing agreement.
“It’s about generating the networks, contacts and partnerships that will allow for companies to have a sustained and strategic entry into their target market,” he says.
According to Gustowski, entry into GAP is competitive, with no more than five companies per intake. The first program consists of the following:
- A one-day workshop held in Melbourne in early 2011 to outline the program features and entry requirements, and provide a basis for selection of successful applicants.
- A one-month pre-mentoring and preparation period where successful candidates will be linked to their assigned USA and Australian mentors for briefing and preparation, prior to departure overseas.
- An 11-day USA in-country intensive mentoring and experiential program in mid-March to rapidly upgrade value propositions, business case and export skills through individual and group sessions with assigned mentors. Companies develop their market entry strategies and establish links with potential alliance partners, channel partners and financiers.
- An ongoing five-month mentoring support program on their return to Australia, linking both US and Australian mentors.
The GAP Program is valued at over $35,000 per company. However, the overseas component only caters for one person per company and successful candidates are required to contribute $5,000 in order to participate.
All other program-related costs including international airfares, in-country travel and accommodation are covered by GAP.
Gustowski says GAP is industry-agnostic, so there is no focus on a particular sector. He does, however, outline the main Australian industries of interest in the US.
“There’s a lot of strength in renewables and sustainability, and Australia’s got some really good technology and innovation in agribusiness and also in transport,” he says.
While there is no revenue benchmark for eligibility, companies are looked favourably upon if they display:
- Early sales.
- A strong intellectual property strategy.
- A good understanding or idea of their accessible market internationally as well as nationally.
- A good understanding as to who their potential partners or alliances may be.
For more information, contact Pyksis on 03 8648 6419 or email [email protected].